XMM-Newton-NEWS  #251,    9-Dic-2021

XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre at
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  • XMM-Newton AO-21 OTAC Results
  • Version 20.0 of the Science Analysis System (SAS) released
  • Data Analysis Threads for SAS v20.0
  • Meeting Announcement: 50 Years Astronomical X-ray Spectroscopy in the Netherlands

XMM-Newton AO-21 OTAC Results

The list of XMM-Newton proposals accepted by the AO-21 Observing Time Allocation Committee (OTAC) and the associated abstracts are available at


The Principal Investigators and the co-Investigators of submitted proposals have been informed by e-mail about the results of the OTAC evaluation.

The Principal Investigators listed in first place in accepted proposals have also been informed about the details of the second phase proposal submission, which must be done via the XMM-Newton Remote Proposal Submission System (XRPS). The XRPS will close on the 4th of February 2022 at 13:00 UT

Version 20.0 of the Science Analysis System (SAS) released

The SAS team is pleased to announce the release of a new version of the SAS: v20.0.

Binaries for diverse flavours of Linux and macOS are available at


The main changes introduced in this release are the following:

  • Combination of MOS and PN spectra up to >= 15 keV.
  • Removed epicproc dependency on radmonfix.
  • Creation of sensitivity maps in flux units.
  • evqpb/qpbselect now working without an ODF.
  • Problems with the identification of EPIC-pn filter fixed.
  • Access to absolute effective area correction for the EPIC cameras.
  • barycen updated to accept a larger range of ephemeris files.
  • Missing comments problems in omichain solved.
  • Improved handling of sub-parameters in Python (param.py in pysas module).
  • Improved figures in online documentation.

This version of SAS is released in three binary versions for Linux, CentOS 7.3, Ubuntu 18.04 and 20.04, and two for macOS, 10.15.7 (Catalina) and 11.6 (BigSur on Intel). These binaries have been tested to run correctly on several other platforms including Linux RHEL 7 and 8, Ubuntu 21, and macOS Mojave and the macOS BigSur running on new Apple M1 based computers.

Together with the release of the Linux VM for SAS 20.0 (VM4SAS20.0), a Linux based Docker image of SAS 20.0 is released for the first time, to be made available in a few days since the release of this newsletter. The image includes Heasoft 6.29 FTOOLS and Xspec. It can be run interactively or detached on any OS where a Docker Engine application is available.

Data Analysis Threads for SAS v20.0

SAS analysis threads have been revised to ensure compatibility with SAS v20.0.

Also, several SAS threads implemented fully in Python have been released as examples of data processing sessions from a Jupyter Notebook.

SAS threads are available at


Meeting Announcement: 50 Years Astronomical X-ray Spectroscopy in the Netherlands

The online Workshop

50 years Astronomical X-ray Spectroscopy in the Netherlands

January 17-19, 2022

will celebrate the fifty years of the theoretical X-ray spectroscopic study in the Space Research Institute SRON.

In January 1972, Rolf Mewe published a paper on theoretical modeling of Helium-like line emission. This paper is a first step leading to subsequent work from which the SRON plasma code and spectral analysis software SPEX would eventually emerge.

This workshop will not only look back on the history of SPEX, but will emphasize the science enabled by it in particular with the high spectral resolution X-ray data of the XMM-Newton RGS, Chandra LETGS and HETGS and other missions. This workshop will also identify the progress in the atomic modeling community, showing how it will advance the study with current and future astrophysical data.

More information is available at



Yours sincerely,

XMM-Newton SOC